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Tips to Avoid Slips and Falls During Inclement Weather

During the spring and summer months, rainfall is frequent across Connecticut, often making sidewalks, parking lots, and other areas of high pedestrian traffic slick and hazardous. Slip and fall accidents happen all the time, and while many people suffer minor bumps and bruises, far too many others suffer severe injuries. To protect yourself from a severe injury accident, follow these safety steps:

  • Don’t underestimate the value of handrails on steep staircases. You may want to use them any time you are going up or down wet stairs, as these are very common locations for water to pool and cause accidents.
  • Avoid walking through puddles, even small ones. Because it could be difficult to judge how deep the puddle might be, you run the risk of stepping into a pothole or depression that could result in a serious injury accident.
  • Always wear the right footwear in rainy weather. Waterproof boots are certainly ideal, but there are many different types of footwear that are waterproof and have soles that provide solid grip and traction.
  • You should be particularly cautious when walking on smooth concrete surfaces such as those found at gas stations and parking lots. These surfaces can easily become slick with only a little bit of rainfall.
  • Be careful around the entrances to buildings, which is where most visitors will track in water. Most establishments place rubber mats near entryways to reduce the risk of slips and falls and will put up warning signs when areas become wet, but some property owners or manager may fail to take these precautions and visitors or guests could be severely injured.

If a property owner failed to warn you of wet floors or failed to address known hazards and you were hurt in a slip and fall accident in Connecticut, contact Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers as soon as possible.

Our firm has a record of success that includes $617,500 recovered for a 58-year-old man who fell on some steps going into work and $450,000 recovered for a 56-year-old painter who broke his left elbow, hip, ankle, and heel as well as injuring his neck after a slip and fall accident off a ladder. Call (800) PERKINS or (203) 397-1283 if you live outside Connecticut to take advantage of a free consultation.

 


Are slip-and-fall injuries more common in the autumn months? 

While the crisp fall air and the changing colors of the scenery are typically indicative of a beautiful time of year in Connecticut, the change in seasons is not without certain risks.

During autumn, slip and fall accidents can become more common because of a wide variety of factors. Many are due to the changes in weather and the environment, and increased traffic plays a part as well. It is critical for property owners and managers to recognize these common hazards and help do their part to keep the premises safe for guests and patrons.

Slip and fall accidents during the autumn months are often caused by:

  • Increased Retail Presence — As Christmas nears, many establishments are going to see a more significant number of patrons. This also increases the likelihood of drinks being spilled or other accidents that lead to wet spot or slick floors in these stores. Such dangers become common causes of many slip and fall accidents.
  • Longer Nights — The further we get into autumn, the sooner the sun will begin to set. When it gets darker outside sooner, it simply becomes more difficult to spot certain dangers. Many slip and fall accidents involve people walking into objects or hazards that they could not see.
  • Unfavorable Weather — While autumn puts a little more bite in the air, it is also a time of year in which there can be some severe storms. Heavy rain can saturate sidewalks and roads, but heavy winds can also lead to tree branches being strewn on city streets. As winter nears, the ground may even freeze on some nights and slip and fall risk can be exceptionally high the following mornings.
  • Slippery Sidewalks and Roads — As mentioned above, a higher amount of rainfall in the autumn usually leads to a lot of wet walkways. Even when it has not recently rained, it is possible that moisture from leaves can remain on sidewalks even after being raked into a yard. Other objects touching the leaves can become similarly saturated.
  • Falling Objects — Again, this is the time of year when leaves and the tree branches themselves may fall. The branches can often land directly on sidewalks. Residents and other entities have an obligation to move these branches so as not to endanger pedestrians or visitors.

Most people who suffer injuries in slip and fall accidents will usually have property owners or their insurance companies immediately accuse them of being at fault for their injuries. Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers understands that slip and fall accidents are usually the result of a property owner’s negligence, and we are here to help you take legal action to get the compensation and justice that you deserve.

Our firm can immediately negotiate with an insurer for a fair and full settlement, but we will not be afraid to file a lawsuit when the insurance company refuses to provide adequate compensation. You can have our lawyers review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (203) 397-1283 to receive a free consultation.


Swimming Pool Accidents: Is the Property Owner Responsible?

During the warm summer months, public and private swimming pools are a popular destination for adults and children. While pools are a great way to escape the summer heat, they also present specific hazards, especially if they are not properly maintained and if guests are not supervised. If you or someone you love is hurt at a swimming pool, you could be eligible to pursue a premises liability claim against the property owner or management company. If this has happened to you, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to understand your rights.

How is Liability Determined in Swimming Pool Accidents?

Because swimming pools are considered part of the property, premises liability laws apply to any accidental injury claims that arise. When it comes to the level of responsibility assumed by the property owner, there are three different types of entrants on the property that are recognized. These entrants include:

Invitees– In the case of a public pool, entrants are considered to be invitees, regardless of whether the pool is free or if admission is charged. The owner of the property has a responsibility to take reasonable care of the pool, which includes maintenance and repairs.

Licensees– If you are invited to someone’s private pool, you are considered to be a licensee. The pool owner has a responsibility to warn you of potential hazards like slippery deck surfaces, shallow water, and other hazards that might not be readily apparent.

Trespassers– If you are not invited to someone’s pool, you are considered a trespasser on their property. If you are hurt at someone else’s pool while trespassing, the property owner has almost no “duty of care” in this situation.

It is important to note that while premises liability laws do not protect trespassing adults, children who trespass and are injured at a pool might be protected under the state’s “attractive nuisance” doctrine. Because pools are considered attractive nuisances, the property owner might still be required to safeguard it from potential trespassing children. This could include signage warning of hazards and fences or gates to keep children out.

Hurt in a Swimming Pool Accident? We Can Help.

The swimming pool accident attorneys of Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers are ready to help you if you’ve been hurt in an accident at a public or private pool. We understand the impact that an accident can have on your life, and we want you to know that you have legal options to protect yourself and your family. Contact us at 1-800-PERKINS to schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation with us today.

 

 

 

 


Protect Your Guests from Slip and Fall Injuries by Avoiding Wet Floors in Your Home

Wet FloorWe’re headed into the stormy season, and that means there’s a good chance that the floors in your home are going to be wet from time to time. Whether the water comes from rain or from snow and ice melting from your winter boots, you need to clean up any slippery spots immediately. This is not only for your own safety or peace of mind: if a neighbor, relative or friend is at your home and they suffer a slip and fall accident, you could end up being financially responsible for their medical expenses and more.

When Injuries Happen in Your Home

You know that if someone were to get injured in your home because you failed to clean up a wet floor, you’d feel terrible. What you may not know is how that type of accident could affect you financially. Though most people have homeowner’s insurance that provides coverage, not everybody does: if you own your home and don’t hold a mortgage, you may have opted out of paying insurance premiums. That would make you personally responsible for any claims. Even if you do have homeowner’s insurance when you report an injury to your insurance company you run the risk of having your monthly premium go up. Some insurance companies may even decide that it’s too expensive to provide coverage for you and decide to cancel your policy if you file a claim against them. The best way to avoid this type of problem is to not have it happen in the first place, and make sure that your floors aren’t slippery.

If A Slip and Fall Claim is Filed Against You

If wet floors in your home do end up causing an injury to a visitor, you should expect that person will file a personal injury claim. Once your insurance company receives the claim, they will probably send out an adjuster to hear your side of the story and to examine your property. They will also contact the injured person and ask for information from them, including their medical records and bills. Your insurance company may try to offer a reasonable settlement, but if the person who was injured is represented by an attorney who believes that they deserve more, you could find yourself facing a long, drawn-out court battle, and on the receiving end of a big court judgment for the person who was hurt in your home.

Slip and fall lawsuits are designed to teach people to exercise more care and to punish those who are careless. Make sure that there are no wet floors in your home to avoid creating a painful injury for your visitors and financial hardship for yourself.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident due to wet floors, contact Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers. We can help.


Increased Risk of a Slip and Fall Accident in Autumn

slip and fallAutumn is most people’s favorite season and for good reason. Between the fashion styles, seasonal drinks and the crisp feeling in the air, along with the impending holiday season, it can be a time of celebration and appreciation. However, the season also comes with a long list of risks for slipping and fall. These injuries can be serious but many of them can be avoided by understanding what hazards pose the biggest risk to personal safety.

Less Sunlight

Many people’s least favorite part of the season can also pose the biggest risk to safety. As the sun starts to set earlier and earlier in the day, there is less light to make judgment when walking after working or to get to your car. By having less light, there is lower visibility. This can mean slipping on wet surfaces that you would have otherwise noticed or tripping over a hole that should have been easy to spot.

Weather Hazards

In Connecticut, snow and ice are a threat soon into temperatures dropping. Whether there is frost from the night before or a light snow has come through, these hazards pose a big risk for slipping as they create slick surfaces. Add in the hazard of less light, and many are unable to see the hazards as they approach them. Being prudent and using illumination when walking through the dark can help avoid these potential risks.

Wet Walkways and Roads

Even when there hasn’t been any ailment weather, there is still a risk for wet walkways and roads from the morning dew and frost. Further, during the fall, leaves begin to fall off the trees, which can also create wet surfaces for walking and driving. Tile, brick, metal and glass are even more of a risk from the slickness that comes from the water that runs off the leaves.

Falling Objects

When the wind picks up and as the trees begin their winter hibernation, many items will be falling down. Most notably, tree branches fall often during this time. When you aren’t looking directly down and in front of yourself during this time, it can be easy to trip over a fallen branch or other items. In some cases, a fallen branch could have been on a property that should have been cleared for passersby. If a municipality or private owner breached their duty of care owed to you as a passerby, contact our team to discuss your potential case.


Is the Store Responsible for a Slip and Fall Accident?

slip and fall accidentIn most cases, when a customer is victim to a slip and fall accident, the store is responsible for the injury. However, this is not always the case. It comes down to who is liable for the injury and if it could have reasonably been avoided. Law tends to favor the customer in most incidents, as many slip and fall accidents are largely avoidable. But what determines if an accident could have been avoided?

For one, if the danger or hazard was known about or should have been known about by the owner or responsible party for the premises, the liability falls on the store. As an example, if someone spills water, the manager should know about it within a reasonable amount of time. If the water spills in an aisle and someone immediately slips on it, there was not enough time for the water to have been noticed or taken care of. However, if water spills in front of an employee or manager and a sign is not placed and it is not cleaned, which leads to someone slipping and falling, the store is liable for the damages that result.

This is because the law finds that when an invitee on the premises is injured, the owner or operator owes the visitor a duty of care, but that duty of care is within reason.

What Makes a Valid Claim

A case can only be considered valid if the following is true:

  • A duty of care is owed. In a store, the duty of care owed to customers includes a clean, dry floor, or signage warning of a hazard to help the public avoid those areas.
  • There was a breach of that duty. If there were no warning signs or no action was taken to remedy a situation, the duty of care has been breached.
  • The breach of duty led to the incident. For example, if the floor was not mopped and someone tried to get something off a high shelf that fell on their head, the two are not related.
  • There was damage or injury because of the incident. If you slip and fall but do not suffer any injuries, the store does not owe any type of compensation, as there is nothing to compensate.

If those four criteria are met, the store is responsible for the accident. However, missing an element doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have a case. Contact our team today to get legal advice on your slip and fall accident.


Slip and Fall Accident: Was the Floor Slippery Enough?

wet floor slip and fall accidentWhen someone slips and falls, they might wonder if they have a case. If they slipped on a floor that was not properly marked as wet, they may have a case against the property owner or manager. However, there are important questions that must be answered to determine eligibility for compensation.

Was the Floor Slippery Enough?

The most important aspect of a slip and fall case is whether the owner was negligent. Someone slipping and falling does not necessarily mean there was wrong doing or an oversight by the owner or manager. Also, a slippery floor also does not immediately mean someone was negligent. Instead, to prove negligence, it must be proven that the owner knew or should have reasonably known the floor was unreasonably slippery.

Of course, “reasonable” can be subjective. To prove what was reasonable or unreasonable, additional questions must be answered.

Why Was the Floor Slippery?

To have a good shot at a positive outcome for a claim, there must be a good idea of why the floor was slippery to begin with. This can be as simple as identifying the substance that made is slippery such as:

  • Water
  • Other liquids
  • Wax or polish for floors
  • Foreign object such as fruit in a grocery store that is slippery
  • Lubricants such as grease or oil
  • Snow or ice

How Long Was the Floor Slippery?

For a case to be successful, it has to be proven that there was ample time to take action and that management should have known about the condition. For instance, a liquid on the ground for over half an hour is easy to prove that there was some level of negligence. However, if you slip only seconds after a spill, it is not necessarily reasonable to assume management or other employees should have been aware of the circumstances.

Was There a Warning Sign?

If management took the time to put a sign of the slippery condition, it’s less likely you will have a claim. This is because there are times when slippery conditions are not avoidable such as after a spill or when floors need to be cleaned or waxed. Additionally, whether you knew about the slippery condition will also play a role. If there was a warning either as a sign or verbally of the condition and you walked on the surface anyway, it is unlikely your claim will be successful.

In any personal injury accident, your legal representation is the biggest factor in success. Contact us at Jonathan Perkins Personal Injury Lawyers today to learn more about our services.


How Long Do I Have to File a Claim After a Slip and Fall Accident in Connecticut?

After a slip and fall accident, the focus is often not on getting compensation but inattention immediately after an accident can cost you. In Connecticut, it is important to understand the limitations in filing a lawsuit after your accident. Gathering the right evidence at the start, such as having someone snap a photo of the scene, can help down the line. But how long do you have to file?

Do You Have a Case?

Before getting into how long you have to file, you should first establish that you should file. Chances are, if you have fallen to no fault of your own, you should file a lawsuit. In order for someone to be held accountable for your fall, one of the following must be true:

  • A spill was caused by the owner of the premises or an employee, or there was a worn or torn spot that was not fixed or had warning signage. Slippery or dangerous surfaces or items that are placed in such a way that they are underfoot also apply.
  • Either the owner or an employee should have known about the dangerous situation. In the same situation, a reasonable person overseeing the property would have noticed and had it taken care of or provided warning.
  • The owner or employee had knowledge of the danger but took no action.

How Long Do I Have?

Each state has its own statute that governs how long a victim has to file a lawsuit. In Connecticut, the same rules apply to a slip and fall accident as they do in a personal injury case. A victim has two years from the date of injury to file the lawsuit. Specifically, the law states no action to cover damages can be brought to a court once two years from the date of injury passes.

More simply put, if you feel the owner or an employee are responsible for your injury, you must file within two years from being injured. This makes it important to consult a lawyer as soon as possible to allow enough time to build your case. Talk to one of our Connecticut personal injury lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to set up a free consultation and get started on your claim today.


How Adjusters Calculate Pain and Suffering After an Injury

Connecticut Slip and Fall LawyerWhile it may seem difficult to put a numeric value on the pain and suffering one goes through after an injury, compensation for damages has to be calculated. This type of damages is classified as compensatory damages. The compensation is calculated based on a variety of factors, including the severity and duration of pain, along with the symptoms of lingering pain and emotional distress. Unsurprisingly, lingering symptoms can be difficult to prove in general, and even more difficult to reflect in a court-of-law.

When looking to prove you have been through pain and suffering following an injury, it is important to understand how an insurance adjuster will calculate pain and suffering.

Calculations Used

After you have completed your medical treatment and therapy, coming up with the monetary amount for medical care is relatively easy. However, putting a monetary amount to your pain and suffering is much more difficult. So how do adjusters do it? The basic method used is the 1-5x multiple system, where one is the lowest pain and suffering, whereas five is the highest amount. They will consider the following aspects:

  • Severity of an injury. Soft tissue injuries tend to stay within 1 – 2x the full amount of your care. However, harder injuries, such as a broken collarbone, will likely be between 2 – 3x as much. Brain damage, however, will be put at 5x or more of the amount.
  • Liability of the insured person. If the victim is partially at fault or a third-party intervened in such a way that contributed to the accident, the question of liability may affect compensation.
  • Future prognosis. When extended medical treatment is clear and evident, the amount of pain and suffering is increased. This is because having to go through long-term treatments adds to the emotional distress of the ordeal, making the award much higher.
  • History of jury verdicts. Many find it surprising that other awards could influence their award. Geographic location plays a huge role in this aspect of calculation. Someone injured in the Midwest will likely have a lower award than someone in NYC, which an adjuster takes into consideration.
  • Exceptions. When the aftereffects of an injury are high but the cost of medical care was low, the case will be considered under its own merits.

Don’t let an adjuster be the full force in deciding what you deserve after a personal injury accident. Our Connecticut personal injury lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers understand how adjusters work and how to present a better case for a more profitable outcome.


What Can You Do Before Inclement Weather to Help Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents?

 When bad weather strikes and there’s snow and ice on the ground, most people worry about driving conditions. They reduce their speed. They make sure that their lights are on when it’s snowing. They make sure that they have plenty of windshield wiper fluid in reserve and that they have blankets in the car in case they get stuck. Unfortunately, they don’t take the same precautions once they step out of their car and set foot in parking lots and supermarkets. Store owners, commercial property managers, and even homeowners have a responsibility for making sure that all hazards are removed, and that includes removing snow and ice on walkways and cleaning up water from their floors. Failure to do so can leave them vulnerable to premises liability claims. But the slip and fall attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers want you to know that in many cases, those who suffer injuries in falls will also be asked about what precautions they took to make sure that they were securing their own safety. You can’t act with disregard for your own safety and then place all the blame on another party. Here are some ideas for what you can do before inclement weather to help prevent slip and fall accidents.

  • Make sure you keep your eyes open. Go around areas where there is ice and if there is clearly water on the ground, stay away from it. If there is no other path that you can follow, make sure that you take it slowly.
  • Be smart about your footwear. Wet or wintry weather is not the time for spikey high heels. Instead wear shoes that provide stability, warmth and traction.
  • If there are handrails available, use them. Whether you’re going up or down a set of stairs or the handrails are mounted for use by the handicapped on a flat surface, use them if there’s any chance of slipping.
  • Be aware that being inside is not a guarantee that you’re safe. The ice and snow that you’ve walked through has been tracked inside by the people before you, and that means that floors are wet and slippery.
  • Do you have a glasses prescription? Then wear them! Far too many people allow vanity or convenience to rule the day, leaving their glasses behind and leaving themselves at a disadvantage for watching out for hazards.
  • If you have a dog, install a fence around your yard. Having a fence can provide you with the ability to let the dog out back when it needs to go to the bathroom instead of going for a walk. Even if you and the dog enjoy the experience, there are some weather conditions where it’s smarter to skip it.
  • Carry a small bag of sand with you. It’s amazing what a difference it can make, especially when you encounter an area where a property owner has not yet gotten to shovel, salt or sand.

The best way to deal with a slip and fall accident is to avoid it in the first place. But if you’ve been injured and think negligence of a property owner played a part, call Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today.

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